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Government will no longer check structural safety of mobile towers after latest amendment

While the amendment was welcomed by the telecom industry, it casts doubts on the safety standards of such infrastructure.

The Indian government will no longer verify the structural safety of mobile towers after the latest amendments to the Indian telegraph rules were notified on October 21. Additionally, local authorities will no longer be able to set charges for the laying of optical fibre cables, which have been fixed at Rs. 1000 per kilometer. "These amendments will ease Right of Way related permission procedures for establishment and augmentation of Digital Communications Infrastructure across the country," a press release from the Ministry of Communications said. The rules will allow telecom companies to accelerate the deployment of overhead optical fibre cables with a reduced compliance burden. The removal of these requirements, however, raises concerns regarding the safety standards under which such infrastructure will be built. What changes have been made to the Telegraph Rules? The Indian Telegraph Right of Way (Amendment) Rules, 2021 make two major changes to the telegraph act: Safety requirements for mobile towers: Before the amendment, applicants for mobile towers were required to provide the following documents for approval: Certification of the technical design by a structural engineer attesting to the structural safety of the overground telegraph infrastructure Certification by a structural engineer of the structural safety of the building on which the post or other infrastructure will be built The extent of land required for the overground telegraph infrastructure The location proposed The approval issued by the Central Government for the location of the infrastructure which will be used for transmission of radio waves or Hertzian waves These details…

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